Good times often look like total carnage – so who do we have to thank for the method in our madness?
On a recent night out, while the rest of our party was either predictably AWOL or slumped semi-comatose in the corner, my friend leaned in and yelled over the dulcet tones of some 70s crooner (this was not, needless to say, the classiest of establishments): “I knew you’d be the only sensible one tonight!”
I realise that ostensibly, this was a compliment. Thank you, she was saying, for remaining conscious for at least the first hour of my birthday outing. But instead of taking this as the praise I’m sure it was intended, my heart sank a little. ‘Sensible’ is a label I seem to have done a blinding job in cultivating, over the years – but it’s by no means been intentional.
Generally, sensible is something that goes hand in hand with qualities like reliable, dependable, cautious; all desirable assets for oh I don’t know, your GP, say, or quite possibly a guide dog…but a 22 year old woman? If I were to meet an untimely death, it’s not exactly what I’d want engraved on my tomb stone. And with so much value placed on qualities like spontaneity and general being-up-for-a-laugh-ness, for a long time, I’ve been made to see my cautious nature as something of a social handicap.
When deciding to head home instead of staying for that infamous ‘one more drink’, for instance, the first thing friends are likely to hit you with is the B bomb. ‘DON’T BE SO BORING!’, they implore you, while all the while you’re thinking, hey – I’m knackered and have to be up early tomorrow and am already on for a mere 5 hours sleep – I’m not being boring, it just makes SENSE. And therein lies the problem. One minute that sense of yours is a blessing, the next a point of ridicule.
Which is precisely why of late, I’ve decided to stop fighting against it. Yep, from now on, I’m going to be a card carrying, out and proud, fully signed up member of the Sensible Club (S Club, for short, for anyone else interested in some pleasingly 90s themed nostalgia).
Obviously, the world would be a fairly bleak place if we were all to tread the sensible line. It would function as efficiently as the German public transport system, granted, but I’ll be the first to admit that there’s been many a time when I’ve been glad of a less sensible friend bullying, or cajoling me, shall we say, into casting my sensible impulses to one side, and ensuring that I had fun I would otherwise have missed out on.
But think about it. There’s a saying something along the lines of ‘behind every great man, there’s a great woman’, and I’d like to propose that a similar pattern exists where sensible people are concerned. Were you one of over 100,000 revellers rolling around in the mud at Glastonbury this year? Are you an avid Orange is the New Black viewer? Ever taken part in a protest march, or visited one of those trendy pop ups that seem to be springing up all over the gaff?
Well you can bet that behind every one of these enjoyable experiences, you’ll find a ‘sensible one’. A whole group of them even. Organisers, producers, site managers, health and safety officers – the types of people you can rely on for a contingency plan, a plan C for when even plan B isn’t up to scratch, someone to work out the right timings, heck, to make sure there are some Portaloos in place. Without them…you’re knee deep in shit. These events might be in need of the ‘fun ones’, the ‘spontaneous ones’ to give the atmosphere a bit of a buzz – but without us sensible Simons, there’d be no event in the first place.
So, I might well arrive a perpetual fifteen minutes early. I might carry the equivalent of a first aid kit around in my handbag, create lists and itineraries and book things years in advance, and I might even, on occasion, lay my clothes out the night before (I know, I know). But next time you’re tempted to scoff at such behaviour, remember – more often than not, there’s a thoroughly planned method in that madness you so enjoy.
Image Credit: mugley via Compfight
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